Jesus was always giving stories to help his disciples understand deep truths that otherwise could be challenging to understand. One of the most well-known parables is the parable of the Lost Son, or Prodigal Son. Usually, the emphasis is placed on the son and what we can learn from his mistakes. Knowing the son represents all of us as people, there are significant principles to take away. However, we can also take a look at the Father and find incredible characteristics as well. Not only was he a loving and compassionate father as we can obviously see, but he was also approachable. The son messed up BIG time. He wasted all his father's inheritance and made a mess of his life because of one bad decision after another. To think that after all of that he felt comfortable enough to return to his father is amazing. What a father he must have been for his son to return after such a life.
Yesterday was Father's Day. For so many people, this national holiday brings grief, anger, and buried resentment because of their 'shadow of a dad' in their home. My heart goes out to those people and I'm so sorry. A dad is more than a male bodily presence in a house. A daddy is someone who puts the best interest of his kids before his own interest. He is someone whose work WILL NOT prevent quality time with his children. Godly fathers train their children to live God's Word out based on their actions, not just words. A good father does not tower over their children to strike fear in them to satisfy their own power cravings. I think if a father is actively practicing these things out on a regular basis, covered in love, then their children will find him approachable. This doesn't say a father's children will not make mistakes, but will know where to find help when they 'come to their senses'.
I don't know where my son is right now. I don't know if he is even born yet. That's not what's most important. As a father-to-be, my prayer is that I will be the kind of father that my son needs. I don't want to be known as a shadow in the home. I know my son and I will not always see eye-to-eye on everything. I also know that, just like me, my son will not be perfect and will make mistakes. Rather than just trying to prevent my son from making mistakes, I think it's most important to be a place of refuge for when my son realizes it was a mistake.
Like every son, I learn from my dad. I learned things to repeat for my children and things to do differently. My son will say the same. May God encourage every father to be better than they were yesterday.
I love you dad.